The relentless trial-and-error process for people with eczema might be over for some. Pfizer’s Eucrisa, a phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE-4) inhibitor ointment that treats mild to moderate atopic dermatitis, or eczema, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The approval comes after two successful placebo-controlled trials with 1,522 participants with mild to moderate atopic dermatitis between the ages of two and 79. After 28 days of treatment, most participants experienced clear or almost clear skin with regular use.
Pfizer has put Eucrisa at a wholesale price of $580 per 60 gram or two-ounce tube, however this rate doesn’t take into account any insurance or pharmacy brand discounts or rebates. Pfizer acquired Eucrisa when they purchased Anacor Pharmaceuticals for $5.2 billion back in June 2016. The pharmaceutical giant predicts that their new ointment will generate $2 billion in sales. Eucrisa could become a popular alternative to steroid drugs, which have detrimental side effects such as thinning skin.
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, around 30 percent of people living in the U.S. suffer from atopic dermatitis. Although the specific root cause of the condition is unknown, experts attribute the irritated patches of red skin to genetic and environmental factors. Eczema can also be triggered by an immune system malfunction, where the body misinterprets tissues and causes inflammation.